John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester - in Popular Culture

In Popular Culture

Rochester is believed to have served as the model for the libertine character Willmore in Aphra Behn's Restoration comedy The Rover.

Two plays have been directly written about Rochester's life; Stephen Jeffreys wrote The Libertine in 1994, and was staged by the Royal Court Theatre. The 2004 film The Libertine, based on Jeffreys's play, starred Johnny Depp as Rochester, Samantha Morton as Elizabeth Barry, John Malkovich as King Charles II, Rosamund Pike as Elizabeth Malet, and Rupert Friend as Billy Downs, the companion and apparent lover who was killed by the pike. Michael Nyman set to music an excerpt of Rochester's poem, "Signor Dildo" for the film. The other play about Rochester was Craig Baxter's The Ministry of Pleasure, which was produced at the Latchmere Theatre in London, in 2004, with Martin Delaney as Wilmot.

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